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The availability of online workout regimens can be a great boon to someone for whom going to a gym is either not an option or not preferred. The wide variety of online workout options can also add variety to your workout and allow you to choose the most convenient time to exercise, rather than working within a gym’s prearranged schedule. Choosing the best online workout involves applying all the same criteria as one would apply to a gym workout with a trainer, plus a few extras.
First, before beginning an exercise routine, people are always advised to check with their primary care physician. For those who are in good shape and maintain a constant level of fitness, this may seem unnecessary. But for every person who really has the data to show they don’t need to do this, there may be some for whom it would contribute to their health to have this check in place.
Defining your workout goals is one step that can help you narrow down your choice of online workout offerings. For example, you might be aiming to get in shape for a particular event, such as a hike. You might be looking for a particular type of workout, such as yoga or Pilates. You might wish to target a particular part of your body, such as your abs or core. Alternatively you might be looking for a program that employs a particular piece of exercise equipment, such as a BOSU® ball or an exercise ball, or that can be done with no equipment. You may prefer either an indoor or outdoor program.
Understanding your best medium for being guided through an exercise program is the next key item. You might the kind of person who does best with a program that provides a simple list of activities with descriptions. After reading through the steps or printing them out, you’re off and running on your own, maybe with some great music to energize you. On the other hand, you may be seeking a program with videos that work through the exercises with you and help you stay motivated. In this case, you may need to sign up for an account in order to gain access to the material.
Print-out programs are ones that you can adapt to your own needs as you use them, but video workout programs bring up a special group of decisions. One of these is choosing the trainer who is a good fit for you. Some trainers may simply not have the same appeal for you as others—just as in life. Another is the availability of an iPhone app or other way to take your exercise program mobile.
The final part of choosing an online workout program comes about when you’ve already started using the program. It is only when you’re using the program that you can assess whether the workouts are at a good pace for you, whether they are neither too easy nor too hard, and whether the program is doing the job of keeping you motivated.